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Shut Off Your Home’s Water Supply

Learn how to shut off your home's main water supply with these tips from the experts at Lowe's.

Home Water Supply Diagram

Indoor Shutoff Valves

In colder regions, the water line may enter through the floor of the foundation where the pipes won’t freeze during the winter. Look for a water meter where the water line enters the house and shutoff valves on both sides of the meter, as shown. On the valve between the meter and the rest of the home’s plumbing system, turn the valve clockwise to stop the water flow.

Outdoor Shutoff Valves

If you live in a warmer climate in which the ground doesn’t freeze, the water meter may be buried in an outdoor box with an access cover. Water then enters through the side of the house, depending on the type of foundation. To turn off the water, look for a valve along the water line between the meter and the house.

Shop Shutoff Valves


Nobody makes the water meter a focal point of their home. It's actually just the opposite. Builders usually tuck water meters in the most inconspicuous places, where they’re forgotten for months or years at a time. So don’t be too surprised if moderate force on the handle fails to close a valve suffering from age, corrosion or mineral deposits from the water. To give yourself more leverage than the handle can provide (yes, they will break), fasten a pair of locking-grip pliers to the stem between the handle and the valve body. Some stems even have flat spots for this. Then turn the stem clockwise to close the valve.